After a successful presentation at the Intersolar Europe in June this year, the representatives of G-Solar attended the Intersolar North America in San Francisco, from July 14-16. This exhibition is the main event of the American solar industry announcing technological innovations and trends in the energetic sector. For G-Solar, whose production of solar panels is located in the economic zone Dugopolje/Split, Croatia, this was the opportunity for closing new deals in the US market.
The US market is expected to be the third largest market globally. As of 2014, the United States have 18.3 gigawatts of installed photovoltaic capacity. Currently, 8 out of 10 biggest solar plants in the world are located in the United States. The biggest is Solar Star Plant with capacity of 579 MW. The construction of large-scale systems, as well as upgrade existing, continues in accordance with the high requirements for the share of renewable energy sources. However, the development is going in the other direction. In the future, the emphasis will be placed on the construction of small photovoltaic power plants at the site of consumption, which will significantly reduce losses in power transmission. Similar balanced development of installing capacity is followed by wind-power plants, which, led by same logic, become smaller and closer to the consumer locations. Also, there is huge investing into mobile systems of production and storage of energy, as well as the inclusion of electric cars in the energy system. The United States currently have about 290.000 electric cars, which puts them at the top of countries by the number of electric cars. The residential sector is expecting accelerated growth with an annual growth rate of 50%.
The most important topic on Intersolar, as well as in the solar industry in general, was the technology of energy storage. The lead story in this area is still Tesla PowerWall which significantly changes the economic calculations of solar system. The price of the battery (Ex Works) is $3,000 for systems of 7kWh and $3,500 for systems of 10 kW, which is 430$ and 350 $/kWh. With dimensions 130x86x18 cm and weight 100 kg it can be placed on the wall of the garage or utility room or to be installed outdoor. Total of maximum 9 units can be linked to ensure greater capacity, up to possible 63 or 90kWh. For commercial and industrial application there is PowerPack providing 100kW at a price of $25,000, which gives an even lower unit price of $250/kWh.
The representatives of the G-Solar were hosted by Nick Tabak, R&D engineering manager at Tesla Motors. The development plans of Tesla company are impressive. In the project called “Gigafactory”, in the cooperation with Japanese Panasonic, Tesla plans annual production of batteries with a total capacity of 36GWh. It roughly corresponds to the current annual global production of lithium batteries. The production is located in Silicon Valley, near San Jose, where several thousand high-tech companies represent hub for innovations and development and cover roughly one-third of business investments in the United States. The access to the latest technologies of Silicon Valley for Croatian Company Solar Panel System will be achieved through partner companies in the United States which will ensure the continuous development and innovations of G-Solar products.